Business rates relief extended

Two significant elements of the Government measures to ease the financial impact of the Coronavirus crisis have been business rates reliefs and grants to certain ‘at risk’ businesses.

These include:

  • grants for businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors
  • a grant for businesses that pay no or little business rates and,
  • A 100 per cent business rates relief for businesses working in certain sectors.

Details of this are available in our earlier update here.

Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls

Businesses in a wide range of sectors that have been particularly badly hit by the Coronavirus crisis are now eligible for a 100 per cent discount on their business rates from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021.

The Government has now confirmed that this list of sectors now includes estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls, as they have been adversely affected by the pandemic and were not in the original list of industries.

The full list of sectors to receive a discount is as follows:

  • Shops
  • Cinemas
  • Restaurants
  • Gyms
  • Music venues
  • Small hotels
  • B&Bs
  • Guesthouses
  • Sports clubs
  • Night clubs
  • Nurseries
  • Estate agents
  • Lettings agencies
  • Bingo halls

Where a property has been closed owing to the crisis, it will still be treated as occupied.

However, where a property becomes vacant in the next 12 months, a 100 per cent full rate will be charged after three months of void rate holiday, unless the rules are amended.

Local Billing Authorities will administer the application process and they should already have knowledge of which properties are eligible, so it would be best to contact them in the first instance.

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